Review: Broken Harbour by Tana French


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Hodder & Stoughton, 2012. Kindle edition. 846 KB. ASIN: B007ROSN7E. ISBN: 978 1 444 72099 0

Brianstown, previously known as Broken Harbour, is one of those new places up in the coast at a good hour drive from Dublin. It should have been a residential paradise. With the property bubble and the bank crisis, it has turned into a ghost estate. Detective Sergeant Kennedy and his rookie partner Detective Garda Curran from the Dublin Murder Squad are heading there. Superintendent O’Kelly has wanted Kennedy on this case. A father and his two kids have been found dead in one of the houses, the mother’s seriously wounded. There are fears for her life. The infants were found upstairs, in their bedrooms, probably suffocated and with no trace of blood. The adults were found downstairs in the kitchen. They were covered in blood, probably stabbed. No weapon has been found. The doors were locked, and there was no window open or broken. There is also something weird in the house. A number of holes in the walls, no clue who made them or why, a lot of baby monitors -the children had passed the age for baby monitors-, and at least two audio devices and five video cameras by the number of chargers found on the bedside table, but there could be more.

The story is told in the first person by the main character, Detective Kennedy himself. At first he is quite arrogant. Gradually we will be discovering some aspects of his life that makes him more likeable. The tone is initially a police procedural. Then it becomes a whodunit. Finally, the emphasis is on the motives of the crime (whydunit).

I can not say that I have not enjoyed this novel, but neither has excited me. Finally, I was left with mixed feelings. Some pages are superfluous, others repetitive. It has an excess of subplots and red herrings. But Tana French really knows how to build tension and does a great job in choosing her characters. Certainly it’s not a bad book and I look forward to reading soon some of her previous books, Faithful Place, in particular.

My rating: 3/5.

Broken Harbour has been reviewed by Maxine at Petrona, Michelle Peckham at Euro Crime, Kimbofo at Reading Matters, Sharon Wheeler at Reviewing the evidence, Keishon at Yet Another Crime Fiction Blog, Glenn at International Crime Fiction, among others.

 

Broken Harbour, de Tana French

Brianstown, conocido anteriormente como Broken Harbour, es uno de esos lugares nuevos en la costa a una hora en coche de Dublín. Debería haber sido un paraíso residencial. Con la burbuja inmobiliaria y la crisis bancaria se ha convertido en una promoción (inmobiliaria) fantasma. El Sargento Kennedy y su compañero, el novato Curran de la Brigada Criminal de Dublín se dirigen hacia allí. El Superintendente O’Kelly ha querido que Kennedy se hiciera cargo de este caso. Un padre y sus dos hijos han sido encontrados muertos en una de las casas, la madre está gravemente herida. Se teme por su vida. Los niños fueron encontrados en el piso de arriba, en su habitación, probablemente asfixiados y sin rastro alguno de sangre. Los adultos fueron encontrados en el piso de abajo, en la cocina. Estaban cubiertos de sangre, probablemente apuñalados. El arma no ha aparecido. Las puertas estaban cerradas, y no había ninguna ventana abierta o rota. También hay algo extraño en la casa. Una serie de agujeros en las paredes, ni idea de quién los hizo ni por qué, un montón de monitores para bebés: los niños habían pasado ya la edad de los monitores, y al menos dos dispositivos de audio y cinco cámaras de vídeo por el número de cargadores encontrados en la mesita de noche, pero podría haber más.

La historia está contada en primera persona por el protagonista, el propio sargento Kennedy. Al principio es bastante arrogante. Poco a poco iremos descubriendo algunos aspectos de su vida que lo hace más agradable. El tono es inicialmente el de un procedimiento policial (procedural). Luego se convierte en una novela policíaca (whodunit). Por último, se hace más hincapié en los motivos del crimen (whydunit).

No puedo decir que no haya disfrutado con esta novela, pero tampoco me ha emocionado. Al final me dejó sentimientos encontrados. Algunas páginas son superfluas, otras repetitivas. Tiene un exceso de subtramas y de pistas falsas. Pero Tana French realmente sabe cómo crear tensión y hace un gran trabajo en la elección de sus personajes. Ciertamente, no es un mal libro y espero leer pronto algunos de sus libros anteriores, Faithful Place, en particular.

Mi valoración: 3/5.

9 thoughts on “Review: Broken Harbour by Tana French

  1. I thought this was an excellent book, although depressing not only about the family’s fate but about the ghost estates and real estate crash in Ireland.
    Given that I like Tana French’s writing, I think there was too much repetition and that 1/5 of the book at the end could have been tightened and some of it deleted. We got the point of the family’s desperation. It could have ended sooner.

  2. Interesting review as I’ve heard a lot about this author but never tried her. I hope to give this one a go sometime.

  3. Yep, this one wasn’t a favorite for me either. Too much repetition and I was bored. Faithful Place remains her best book.

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